Do not fear long wait times, embrace them

If you are in demand you are doing something right!

Many shop owners get nervous when wait times extend past 40 mintues, they will lose clients and revenue. Is it better to ignore the problem and not show your clients? The reason they are waiting is because you have a great service, why not treat them with some respect and work with them to solve the problem.

On demand services are flexible and easy but during peak periods the wait is a frustrating consquence, it put pressure on the shop and frustrates clients. By showing the wait time and using predictive queues you can minise the impact.

A benchmark 40 minute wait time is important, it means by the time a person starts they will take longer than 1 hour to complete the service. This is why people will look into a shop to see how many people are waiting and walk past. The advantage of having people on an electronic waitlist is there are less people waiting in the shop so more people will walk in.  The downside is more visibility when people are leaving or cancelling, while this is lost revenue, you were losing it before but now you know how much you are using. Now you know you can plan for demand with more staff or try and smooth the flow.

In-store Kiosk for client check-in

Photograph by Alex Greaves

Your clients will wait for a good service, and they will be patient with delays for quality, provided they are informed!  Giving them a wait time and the option to check-in online shows them you also value their time. Owners who want to hide the issue or are arrogant enought to believe in today’s busy society their clients have nothing better to do will suffer over time.  A good owner – client relationship is built on mutual respect and if done right will last a lifetime.

“A great service will be in demand, that should be seen as a posiitve reflection of your business, not a negative. How you deal with it for your clients will define your future” – Duane Thompson, SLIKR

Your regular clients will understand the queue ahead and digital queue.  New clients will walk-in because your queues are not out the door, you have the opportunity to engage them, capture their details, and educate for next time.  So a long wait time is okay if the flow of clients into your store is staggered pushing some people from peak periods into quieter periods.

Another key effect of the digital queue is tracking progress to make the wait time shorter.  You client knows they wait time and can be occupied, they see the queue getting shorter so see progress. Knowing you are busy is validation for them too of the quality of service they are getting and any premium you may charge. So embrace the fact you have a great service and are in demand, explain to your clients you care and want to help them manage their time.

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